By Jo Carruthers
This interdisciplinary statement levels from early midrashic interpretation to modern rewritings introducing interpretations of the single biblical booklet let alone God.
- Unearths a wealth of missed rewritings encouraged by means of the story’s relevance to issues of nationhood, uprising, windfall, revenge, woman heroism, Jewish id, exile, genocide and ‘multiculturalism’
- Reveals some of the struggles and techniques utilized by non secular commentators to make feel of this in simple terms biblical booklet that doesn't point out God
- Asks why Esther is underestimated by means of modern feminist students regardless of an extended heritage of subversive rewritings
- Compares the main influential Jewish and Christian interpretations and interpreters
- Includes an advent to the book’s myriad representations in literature, track, and art
- Published within the reception-history sequence, Blackwell Bible Commentaries
Chapter 1 Esther 1:1–9 (pages 52–67):
Chapter 2 Esther 1:10–22 (pages 68–92):
Chapter three Esther 2:1–7 (pages 93–108):
Chapter four Esther 2:8–23 (pages 109–132):
Chapter five Esther three (pages 133–159):
Chapter 6 Esther 4:1–14 (pages 160–175):
Chapter 7 Esther 4:15–17 (pages 176–191):
Chapter eight Esther five (pages 192–220):
Chapter nine Esther 6 (pages 221–232):
Chapter 10 Esther 7 and eight (pages 233–253):
Chapter eleven Esther nine and 10 (pages 254–279):
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Additional resources for Esther Through the Centuries
Isaac Arama (–, Spain) argues that hidden miracles such as Esther’s are typical of exilic Jewish experience of God. : ). Godless Scripture Scroll and book illustrations work to steer interpretation of the story along specific lines. An early German Christian printing of the story of Esther, Historie von Joseph, Daniel, Judith und Ester (Barnburg: Albrecht Pfister, ) contains a picture of a formidably authoritative Mordecai standing amidst a group of praying Jews. In the background Esther and her two maids pray on their knees which, alongside the apocryphal account rendered in medieval German, encourages a pious framework in which fasting is an indicator of prayer.
Novels often borrow simple plot elements from the Esther story. Catastrophic banquets are common features: for example, in George Eliot’s Adam Bede ( : )) and in George Moore’s Esther Waters ( ) in which the maid Esther’s entrance into the grand household begins with a banquet from which women’s exclusion is, at least, attempted (). Haman’s games with fate in the throwing of lots resound with Esther’s master’s gambling (, see comments on Esth :). The Cinderella element is even present as Esther becomes the ‘belle of the ball’ at the servants’ party ().
And then adds, awkwardly, for she ‘had never used the phraseology of religious sentiment [. ] and was very shy in respect to it’ [. ] “And one can always pray”’ (). Edward’s connection to gambling constructs him as a Haman figure, compounded by his speculating on the Stock Market, by which he authors his own downfall. When Providence, Chosenness, Nationhood Edward tells Hester that his fate depends ‘on a turn of the cards’, Hester responds with a condemnation of the flippant attitude it denotes: ‘Edward, you cannot mean it is play?